Vietnam puts into practice a first-to file trademark filing system. Accordingly, foreign firms/companies, due to their failure of registration their trademarks first in Vietnam, may find it hard to fight against Vietnamese companies who have already registered identical or confusingly similar trademarks first.
Yet, the trouble could be resolved if foreign companies can prove that their trademarks are reputable or can show clear evidence proving the wrongdoing of Vietnamese companies. Cancellation proceedings are complicated, costly and time-consuming, so it is necessary for companies to register their trademarks early in Vietnam. A trademark that is not actively used for five consecutive years would be cancelled for non-use.
It takes 12-18 months to register a trademark. Foreign companies would take approach into Vietnamese market through agency and distributorship relationships with Vietnamese companies. Technology and trademark license agreements must be legally registered with Vietnamese authorities. Nonetheless, the authorities would not recognize license agreements if trademarks related to the agreements are not unregistered.
Thus, delaying in registering their trademarks, foreign companies would lose its opportunities to conduct licensing activities in Vietnam. More importantly, if your trademark is not registered in Vietnam, your company will have to confront a lot of challenges in the fight against infringers or producers of counterfeit goods.